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    Friday, August 27, 2021

    Finisher Friday (8/27/21): In Soviet Russia, Torpedo Not Launched Underwater

    Welcome to another edition of #FinisherFriday! This is Wreddit_Regal giving a short review of our beloved Russian wrestler's finisher.

    Once WALTER took the NXT UK Championship away from Pete Dunne, he went on to steamroll all of the competition for two years. Nobody said a word about his reign of terror because the adage "Might is right" was silently put into use: if you wanted to oust the champ, you had to put hands with the champ and prove yourself worthy. Out of nine previous contenders (all beaten in spectacular fashion), only one willed himself to challenge for another fight, and finally dethroned the king on NXT: TakeOver 36:

    The guy who defeated WALTER? Thomas Edison Ilja Dragunov.

    Dragunov is the wrestling embodiment of everything you hear about Russians and their supposed toughness - he is literally a beast when taking and dishing out damage. His above-average build can lift hosses like it's a normal day at work, and his offence (as said by our fellow Smark Henry writer Jackie, "powered by Smirnoff and Sputnik V") would put bruisers and renowned strikers to shame:

    His finisher is one of sheer blockheadedness (pun intended), called the Torpedo Moskau:

    This finisher works because the way Dragunov launches himself is similar to a running European uppercut, which delivers a blunt blow cushioned by the attacker's biceps and/or deltoids:

    With this, the opponent only expects to be hit with something harder than a padded bat, only to find themselves struck with an object as hard as a battering ram in full motion!

    Using my Regal Rating, I would give this finisher a:

    8/10 for aesthetics. There are only rare occasions where Dragunov can launch his entire body like a spear. Most of the time, he looks like he's giving the opponent a flying back bump (we still love watching it, though).

    9/10 for damage. Headbutts are illegal in most combat sports because the opponent is hit by a body part that is cushioned by a layer of skin and hair, which can easily cause gnarly cuts (as well as the usual concussion). But the reward does come with a risk: since Dragunov turns his back while performing the move, the opponent could possibly sneak in a counterattack mid-air, like in the GIF below:

    Dragunov no-sold Riddle's knee counter like a true Russian would

    And that's it chaps, my short review of the Torpedo Moskau! Do you think Ilja Dragunov would enjoy a lengthy reign as the new NXT United Kingdom Champion? Let us know in the comment section below!


    Wreddit_Regal is the resident finisher fanatic of Reddit's wrestling forum, r/squaredcircle. From the most basic of punches to the most intricate double-team maneuvers, he can explain them within the realm of human anatomy and physics, because when doing absolutely nothing wrestling-related, he also happens to work as an operating room nurse.

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    Item Reviewed: Finisher Friday (8/27/21): In Soviet Russia, Torpedo Not Launched Underwater Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Wreddit_Regal
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